Brennan Manning (christened Richard Francis Xavier Manning) is an author, friar, priest, contemplative and speaker. Born and raised in Depression-era New York City, Manning finished high school, enlisted in the US Marine Corps, and fought in the Korean War. When Manning returned to the United States, he enrolled at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Upon his graduation from the seminary in 1963, Manning was ordained to the Franciscan priesthood. In the late 1960s, Manning joined the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld, a religious order committed to an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor. Manning transported water via donkey, worked as a mason's assistant and a dishwasher in France, was imprisoned (by choice) in Switzerland, and spent six months in a remote cave somewhere in the Zaragoza desert. In the 1970s, Manning returned to the US and began writing after confronting his alcoholism. Singer-songwriter Rich Mullins called his band A Ragamuffin Band after one of Manning's books. Warren Barfield's music is also often inspired by Manning, as is the work of singer-songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones. "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle," Manning has said. "That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." This quote appeared in the prelude to dc Talk's song "What if I Stumble?" It also appeared on an intro track for the Christian metalcore band War of Ages on its album Fire From the Tomb.
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